Airline ticket agents have tough jobs: the flying public isn't always nice. So, if you're in search of that elusive free upgrade on your next airline trip, travel expert Peter Greenberg suggests the following:
1. Dress professionally. If you're wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and carrying a back pack, you are unlikely to receive a free upgrade.
2. Your chances are much better if you fly mid-day, mid-week.
3. Schmooze the agent. If you have a friendly conversation, but do not ask for an upgrade, you are much more likely to get one.
So, what have we learned here? Only that airline ticket agents, just like retail store associates, have pressure-cooker jobs, and that customers can be demanding and not so nice.
Welcome to the world of retail!
This isn't news to us. Retail store associates do not get to choose who they are nice to because they know their job is to be nice to every customer. Store associates are the store's ambassadors. Being decent to customers, regardless of their mood, is just plain, old-fashioned common courtesy and simple common sense.
Southwest Airlines gets it: in all of our years of flying we have never run into a snotty, bored or uncaring Southwest employee. On the other hand, pick any other airline and we guarantee we'll have at least one rude employee story to tell. Perhaps it's time for the airline industry to take a page from Retail Customer Service 101 and teach their agents how to properly interact with customers. Then we'd all fly a little happier and arrive at our destinations in a better spirits!